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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 30, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 48
Make it official: Seattle City Hall to open for free weddings on Dec. 9
Section One
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Make it official: Seattle City Hall to open for free weddings on Dec. 9

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is opening Seattle City Hall's grand lobby to all couples who want to marry on December 9, the first day same-sex partners will be able to do so. A big reception at the Paramount Theatre will also take place that day. The wedding ceremonies and the reception both are completely free of charge.

'Seattle City Hall will be opened to welcome those who would like to get married in the grand lobby that day, along with their family and friends. Local judges have volunteered to officiate the weddings, and artists are working to create beautiful displays in front of which couples can take their vows,' said a McGinn spokesperson.

Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses on December 6, when Washington's marriage equality law, newly upheld by voters, takes effect. Because of the mandatory three-day waiting period for all weddings, December 9 is the first day such couples will be able to marry.

RESERVE A SLOT
Remember, if you intend to marry at City Hall on the 9th, you must apply for the license on the 6th. It is recommended that you notify City Hall via e-mail of your intent to marry there before you get the license. Advance registration runs from 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 4, to Wednesday, December 5, or until capacity is reached. After you e-mail City Hall, you should get a response assigning you a check-in time for the 9th. Officials are expecting an overflow of people, so try to register early. Weddings are being scheduled from noon to 5 p.m., but the mayor's office says it may move up the starting time if there's enough demand.

City Hall will open the grand lobby at 11 a.m. on December 9. You are welcome to bring family and friends, your own cake, photographer - pretty much whatever you'd want at a wedding.

In addition to having your wedding planned by Mayor McGinn, many volunteers will be on hand as well. The city says it has received an outpouring of interest from caterers, photographers, artists, and others to help with the event. Skilled volunteers will be available to help with wardrobe emergencies. Volunteer witnesses will also be available, should you need them.

Local artists Jennifer Zeyl and Alicia Berger are working on creating four 'tasteful' pop-up wedding chapels for the lobby.

CELEBRATE IN STYLE
After you tie the knot at City Hall, head over to the Paramount Theatre (911 Pine St.) for a free wedding reception beginning at 6 p.m. Couples, families, and friends are all invited. While details are still being finalized, the Paramount is planning a celebratory champagne toast, cake, and desserts as well as entertainment.

Licenses will be available from the Recorder's Office at the King County Administration Building (500 4th Ave.), starting at 12:01 a.m. on December 6. The office will be open from 12:01 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the 6th, from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the 7th, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the 8th. Again, if you plan to marry at City Hall on the 9th, you must get the license on the 6th.

Questions can be posed to mike.mcginn@seattle.gov or by calling (206) 684-4000. To learn more about the reception at the Paramount, visit Seattle Theatre Group's website, www.stgpresents.org.

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